Does Dry Cat Food Cause Urinary Problems? Updated Info 2023





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Robert Taylor

Dry cat food is among the best and healthiest foods veterinarian recommends for cat owners to use for their pets. However, they advise with caution because using the dry form inappropriately can lead to serious problems. 

As many cat owners question, does dry cat food cause urinary problems? Yes. Cats that are solely fed dry food are more vulnerable to urinary issues. Here are all the ins and outs of properly providing dry cat food to your cat to nourish and protect them.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Does Dry Cat Food Harm The Urinary System
Does Dry Cat Food Harm The Urinary System?

Does Dry Cat Food Cause Urinary Problems?

Yes. Dry food can cause urinary problems

In fact, your pets are hunters as their ancestors. Water is a component of their prey. 

They can swallow up to 75% water from all the animals they catch. Therefore, if you house your cat and feed them only dry food, just around 8% of water is consumed. 

Even combined with the water you give your cat separately, the total water consumption will be much less than the water from raw and canned food. This implies that cats consuming dry food only are perpetually dehydrated to some extent.

The kidney of your pet will generate extremely concentrated urine when it is in a water insufficient state. 

In the scenario, the specific gravity indicator can reach a number exceeding 1040. A value below 1.020 in cats frequently indicates that your pet’s kidneys aren’t functioning correctly. 

When cats regularly devour raw food like in nature, enough water enters their urinary tracts to clear out the crystals & minerals that are forming, maintaining the health of the urethra & bladder.

When cats are on a diet low in water, such as dry food, the minerals in their food & metabolism accumulate in the cat’s bladder due to the decreased urination frequency. The result is hyper-concentrated and over-saturated pee, eventually blocking the urinary tract. 

Struvite crystals are the major substance discovered in cat urinary problems. A carnivore’s urine gets alkaline once it takes in a lot of carbohydrates (making up about 70% of dry cat food), which encourages the growth of the so-called struvite crystals. 

The alkaline urine can damage the bladder’s mucous membrane, causing inflammation. Therefore, all cats must keep their pee acidic to maintain a healthy urinary system.

Urinary Problems Symptoms and Warning Signs

  • Not using the cat’s litter box while urinating
  • Straining when your cat urinates
  • Bladder control issues
  • Urination frequency increased with typically little urine output
  • Dark, pink, or even bloody urine
  • Sobbing or vocalizing when trying to pee 
  • Licking on its genitalia
  • Diminished appetite
  • Inability or unwillingness to engage in routine activities

Cat Inability To Engage In Routine Activitie
Cat Inability To Engage In Routine Activities.

Treatment For Cats That Have Urinary Issues

Balance Food Nutrition

The food that your feline eats has a significant impact on its general health. Stone formation has been related to cat meals high in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium & protein.

According to veterinarians, it’s best to give a cat a bladder-friendly diet with restricted levels of these minerals. It will decrease the chance urinary system of your pet developing stones. 

To safely address urinary difficulties, the appropriate nutrition may assist in balancing mineral levels, keeping a balanced urine pH, and minimizing inflammation.

You will want to check what cats should eat daily and always ask for help from a vet to have the best treatment for your fur ball.

Increasing Water Use

Ensure your feline can always access fresh & clean water. Keep in mind what cats can drink to guarantee that it is good for your pet and not harmful to their digestion.

Giving cats canned or wet food also encourages them to drink more water.

Cat Wet Food Can Be A Treatment For Cats Urinary Issue
Cat Wet Food Can Be A Treatment For Cat’s Urinary Issue.

Provide Safe Environments

Keep an eye out for any changes to the house as well as any disputes with the other pets there.

Cats are extremely aware of their surroundings, so minimizing possible stressors, particularly for the one with urinary problems, may greatly enhance your cat’s quality of life.

Medicine Or Antibiotics To Treat Symptoms

Based on your pet symptoms, you may need to use some medicine to help your pet overcome all the urinary problems.

Lessen The Environment’s Tension

Set aside time throughout your free day to engage with your cat. Don’t forget to provide scratching posts.

Feeding Frequency

Rather than 1- 2 substantial meals throughout the day, feed numerous modest ones.

How To Prevent Cat Urinary Problems

Provide Enrichment

According to research, environmental diversification and stress reduction are extremely important for preserving your cat’s bladder and general health. 

There are several ways to reduce stress. For instance, if your pet constantly fights with other pets in your apartment, you might need to change your pet’s living situation. Give your pets plenty of opportunity to engage in physical and mental activity, such as:

  • Play with your pet, buy or manufacture new pet toys, and switch them out frequently. 
  • Utilize food puzzles. 
  • Put perches close to windows. 
  • Make a ton of cat toys and scratchers.

Manage Cat Bathrooms

Make your pet’s “bathrooms” comfortable and convenient to use. That is the way you can support your pet to keep the bladder empty. 

Don’t put all your cat boxes in one secret spot and keep every box impeccably clean. 

Find out which litter & box your pet prefers. The most common types are usually large, open boxes with a thick covering of clumping & unscented litter.

The Right Cat Bathroom Will Prevent Cat Urinary Problems
The Right Cat Bathroom Will Prevent Cat Urinary Problems.

Maintain Your Cat’s Hydration

To keep your cat urine diluted, your pet should drink plenty of water. 

Canned food will be better than dry ones. Keep numerous water bowls filled with clean & fresh water while placing them around your home. 

Some cats like licking from a moving water source. The cat water fountain will be the optimum choice. However, it is up to your financial budget.


Can I Add Water In Cat Dry Food?

Yes. You can. Start to put ¼ cup of water and put it up to your pet’s dry food. It will moisturize and even enhance the flavor of the food.

Is Wet Food Healthier For Cats That Have Urinary Issues?

While your doctor can recommend a particular diet, giving cats extra wet food is usually advised to enhance urinary health by increasing hydration. 

Once it relates to increasing hydration, wet cat foods are a fantastic starting point, and most pet supply stores offer these foods.


That is everything about does dry cat food cause urinary problems. 

We can deny the usefulness and convenience of dry cat food. However, as cats are omnivores, their body is made for raw food. 

Even when you choose to house it, it is always best to replicate your pet’s natural food balance as close as possible to ensure its digestive system works properly. The balance of wet and dry food for cats is advised to protect the cat’s urinary tract health.

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Robert Taylor

I love cats, I have more than 10 years of experience in raising cats. I want to share with everyone useful knowledge about cats.

Robert Taylor